Introduction

Trinity Logo

Trinity University Baseball reached the NCAA playoffs for the second time in school history in 1972, led by a legendary coach and an ensemble of talented players that included future major league talent. In 1973 the team reached the playoffs once again, with most of the same personnel. These appearances were made even more impressive due to the fact that this was a time of very little organization within the NCAA, and a small school like Trinity competed against some of the biggest and notorious baseball universities in the nation. For a small school that was known primarily for its tennis program, not its baseball team, the Tiger’s impressive two-year run came out of the blue and showed that a small school team could compete with the country’s baseball powerhouses. Trinity’s baseball program would not see success like they did in the early seventies for another four decades, when regional appearances became a regular occurrence. To understand how Trinity baseball rose and fell so quickly in those years this exhibit will showcase the positives of the program, which included a historic leader in head coach Houston Wheeler and elite level talent seen in players like Paul “Duck” Stanley, Billy Daffin, Mike Bacsik, and the Mahler brothers. It will also include details of a potentially dynasty derailing outside factor, in Trinity University’s Simon Pure decision, that hampered Trinity’s success after 1973. The research is aided by school and city newspaper articles from the two years, as well as a firsthand account from a member of the team and 1973 graduate Paul Batista.

Introduction